Air Force Secretary: ‘Haven’t made a decision on U.S. Space Command’
March 30, 2023
Moldova’s airspace was closed down for a brief time today. This decision was prompted by reports of a balloon-like object hovering over the country, close to the border with Ukraine.
The incident came less than a day after Moldova accused Russia of devising a plot to bring down its government. There have also been reports that Russia is making use of decoy balloons launched over Ukraine, to confuse their radar.
“Given the weather conditions and the impossibility of observing and identifying the object and its flight path,” Moldovan airspace was closed, the civil aviation confirmed in a statement. Once it was determined that the balloon-like object was not a threat, Moldova’s airspace re-opened after being closed for 1 hour and 22 minutes.
Eurocontrol, who oversee Europe’s airspace, said that Moldovan airspace had been temporarily closed, citing security issues.
Romania, which is located next to Moldova, also reported that it had detected a small weather balloon in its airspace today, and sent two MiG-21 Lancer fighter jets to investigate. The pilots were not able to confirm whether the object was still there.
Romania’s defence ministry confirmed the jets were deployed following a NATO command to its southeastern skies to find and identify an aerial object it described as being small with “characteristics similar to a weather balloon.” The object had been initially detected by radar systems in Romanian airspace at an altitude of approximately 11,000 metres (36,000 feet).
“The crews of the two aircraft did not confirm the presence of the aerial target, neither visually nor on the onboard radars,” a ministry statement said, adding that the two MiG-21 LanceR aircraft stayed in the vicinity for about 30 minutes before returning to base.
Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu addressed the media at UN headquarters in New York that “the Romanian fighter jets did not find any object, even if it was spotted on the radar, so no threat for the Romanian airspace.”
It is not yet known whether the two events are related.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
PHOTO CREDIT: THE DRIVE